Rice, Anne. “The Wolves of Midwinter: The Wolf Gift Chronicles”, Knopf, 2012.
The Tale Continues . . .
It is early December, Yuletide, in Northern California at Nideck Point and Reuben Golding is drawn to a spiritual presence, the Morphenkinder who live in the woods near the town. These spirits are ageless and have long and fantastic histories and possess dark and magical powers. A ghost appears but it cannot speak even though it can show affection and desire. Reuben cannot help himself. In her second novel in the Wolf Gift chronicles, we find ourselves with Reuben and his other werewolf companions just as they are getting ready for the midwinter holiday.
Reuben learns that his girlfriend, Laura, has decided that she too will join him as a werewolf. However, Reuben also learns that his ex-girlfriend, Celeste, is pregnant with his child. He marries her to guarantee legitimacy for the child. To top all that, he begins to see the ghost of Marchent, his former lover who turned him into a werewolf and was then murdered by her brothers. Reuben realizes that Marchent still has a hold on him and still roams the physical world. Because of this, Reuben wants her protected as he continues using his werewolf powers to help those in need.
Yes, Anne Rice is back and we wholeheartedly welcome her. She left us for a while when she returned to Catholicism which she left because of its homophobia. Now with a new series, she takes us once again to the supernatural and paranormal. Here we get the back story of Reuben, the Man Wolf. He and the other gentlemen wolves live in the mansion at Nideck Point. We are with them as Reuben celebrates his first Christmas as one of the Morphenkinder and he discovers that they have their own rituals to celebrate at this time of year. Their festival will be held in the woods but as they prepare Reuben is having a hard time keeping his focus because of a warning that he cannot understand that was sent to him via a ghostly presence.
The reader also questions just who are the Morphenkinder and what their purpose is and herein is the major theme of the book which also contains other subplots. How appropriate the book is out before the fall holidays and the preparations for Christmas (with maybe a touch of Halloween). Now we just have to wait a year for the next volume.